Before a crowd of 110,000 people, Scotland beat England
on Saturday by three goals to one. Although extra stands and extra
banking have been added to Hampden Park since last year, the gates had
to be closed before the game started, and thousands were turned away
Getting to the ground was a matter of the utmost
difficulty. Hampden Park is some four miles out of Glasgow, and to walk
there would take the keen edge off the appetite for the game. Trams were
quite hopeless unless one was prepared to fight one's way in and risk a
broken ankle from a slammed door. To take a lady by train was
impossible. Every taxicab and horse-cab in Glasgow was engaged by 12
o'clock in the morning. Many people only got to the ground by walking
half-way and snatching up conveyances as they came back.
Hundreds arriving after the gates were shut climbed the
hill which faces the grand-stand and watched the game from there. "
Watched the game " is a polite fiction, for the people on the hill could
only see the ball when it was kicked very high ; the players themselves
they could not catch a glimpse of. Some mental telepathy, however,
seemed to pass between them and the spectators in the grand-stand ; and
apparently they enjoyed the game almost as much as if they were really
seeing it all. They could hear the roar that came up from the crowd when
a goal was scored, but until some sign was given from the grand-stand,
they could have no notion which side had scored. Whether it was a
brilliant shot, a weak save, or a back putting the ball through his own
goal they had no human chance of knowing. Yet there they stood and
apparently enjoyed themselves. " What fools these mortals be," said
Puck. But some forms of madness are good for a nation.
As for the crowd inside the ground, it was a sight to
see and never forget. The huge bank opposite the grand-stand was a misty
sea of faces, lit up occasionally as the sun struck on them, but mostly
a blurred colourless white like baby balloons. Faces and caps, faces and
caps, not even a shoulder to be seen behind the front row. From far off
the crowd of faces looked like the " hundreds and thousands " of our
childhood, dusted on a huge oblong with a green rectangle for a centre.
In " The Little White Bird," J. M. Barrie writes that the Baby Walk is
so full of perambulators that you could cross from side to side stepping
on babies, but the nurses won't let you do it." On Saturday you could
have walked round the ground stepping on heads ; but the police would
not have let you do it.
There was no championship at stake on Saturday, the
Association Championship had been annexed by Ireland already. But as in
the Calcutta Cup at Rugby football, so at Association, the game of the
year is that between England and Scotland ; other internationals pale
before the great game, which is really rather a pity.
It was the fastest game between England and Scotland
since the A.F.A. and the F.A. quarrelled...
...A corner followed to Scotland, and, from another,
Thomson scored with a long shot. Pennington was responsible for the
goal, for he crossed Hardy as the shot was made and unsighted him. This
was just four and a half minutes from the start...
A foul against Thomson in the middle of the ground led
up to England's one goal. Crompton took the kick ; Smith trapped it
cleverly and passed across to Fleming, who rushed the ball through...
...After six minutes M'Menemy shot in from only a few
yards out, Hardy having no chance to save. The defence seemed to leave
M'Menemy severely alone, each, apparently, expecting some one else to
take the man while they looked on. A quarter of an hour later M'Menemy
hit the bar with a grand shot ; the ball came out softly to Reid, who
scored very easily... - The
Times - Monday 6th April, 1914